ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is Cyber Terrorism?

Updated on September 13, 2010

Cyberterrorism is “the use of information technology by terrorist groups and individuals to further their agenda. This can include use of information technology to organize and execute attacks against networks, computer systems and telecommunications infrastructures, or for exchanging information or making threats electronically.”

Why Cyberterror?

  • There are many advantages over the traditional physical methods of terrorist attacks.
  • Society depends heavily on information technology.
  • Public works systems such as electrical, water, and traffic control are controlled by computers.
  • Communication is used for stock exchanges and banking.

Why It's Appealing To Terrorists

  • Terrorists do not need explosives or guns, instead they can deliver viruses through a telephone, cable, or wireless connection.
  • Terrorists become much more anonymous.
  • It is much easier to target any important structures.
  • Usually critical infrastructures are the ones most vulnerable.

Effects of Cyber Terrorism

  • Weaken a country’s economy.
  • Cause Environmental contamination.
  • Endanger public health / safety.
  • Alter or erase computerized medical, pharmacy or health insurance record among other things.
  • Hinder telecommunication system.
  • Shut down electrical power supply.

Examples of Cyber Terrorism

  • In March 1997, a teenage hacker penetrated and disabled a telephone company computer that provided service to the Worcester Airport in Massachusetts, cutting off service to the airport control tower, fire department, security, and weather service for six hours.
  • In 1992, a disgruntled former employee of Chevron Corporation’s emergency alert network, hacked into computers in New York and San Jose, California and reconfigured the firm’s emergency alert system so that it would fail during an event. The disabled system was not discovered until an emergency arose at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California and the adjacent community could not be notified during an accidental chemical release. During the ten-hour period in which the system was down, thousands of people in 22 states and six areas in Canada with Chevron facilities went without the Chevron emergency alert system. As suggested above, hackers also have attacked traffic regulation systems, disrupting traffic lights, with the potential for an increase in motor vehicle collisions.


  • Y2K is not a cyber terrorist attack. Instead it demonstrates the possible effects of what kind of effect cyber terrorism will have on the public.
  • A sense of fear and despair.

Counter Cyber-Terrorism

U.S. Department of Defense

  • The U.S. Department of Defense is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the military.
  • It appointed the United States Strategic Command with the duty of combating cyber terrorism

U.S. Strategic Command

  • a.k.a. USSTRATCOM
  • Is in command of nuclear weapons, space operations, missile defense, global intelligence, surveillance.
  • Fights cyber terrorism through the Joint Task Force Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO) to defend the Global Information Grid (GIG).

Global Information Grid

  • Globally interconnected system that provides processing, storage, management, and transport of information on demand to support the Department of Defense, war fighters, and policymakers.
  • Includes all communications and computing systems and services, software , system data, security services, and other services necessary to achieve information superiority for the United States military.

Joint Task Force Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO)

  • Supports USSTRATCOM in defense of the GIG by integrating GNO capabilities into Department of Defense networks and systems.
  • Identifies and resolves computer security anomalies that affect the Global Information Grid's ability to support the Department of Defense.
  • Identifies significant threats to the Global Information Grid and develops and implements countermeasures to these threats.
  • Identifies emerging technologies and their associated threats in order to respond with actions for the defense of the Global Information Grid.

Other Government Agencies

  • CIA: created Information Warfare Center
  • FBI: investigates hackers and similar cases
  • Secret Service: pursues banking and fraud
  • Air Force: created Electronic Security Engineering Teams (ESSETs)

Methods of Protection

  • The only way to completely secure a system is to fully isolated from any outside connection but this is an unrealistic solution due to the world's heavy dependence on information technology.
  • The most common form of protection is encryption. It, however, does not protect the entire system so it's still vulnerable to things such as viruses.
  • Another form of protection is with the use of firewalls to screen all communications to and from a system.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Create unique passwords that are difficult to guess for all accounts that you use.
  • Use security software. Can’t afford it? There’s many good, free solutions out there such as Avast, Avira, Comodo, and AVG to name a few.
  • Check with vendors for upgrades and patches for your security software.
  • If you’re unsure about a website/email, don’t access it. Better safe than sorry.
  • Use sandboxing software. A free option is Sandboxie.

Cyber Terrorism In Fiction

  • Movies like Live Free or Die Hard show exaggerated possibilities of cyber terrorism.
  • Books like Digital Fortress by Dan Brown explore theories of cyber terrorism.

The Inconvient Truth

  • The problem is that cyber terrorism is full of speculation. So far countries have not yet experienced the full threat of this new terrorism.
  • The effects is much more exaggerated then you think. As countries like U.S. aren’t as vulnerable as they seem.
  • Until we see the destruction of critical infrastructures, we will not yet feel the gist of Cyber Terrorism.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Im grateful for the blog article.Much thanks again. Cool. bkacacfbbddd

    • Didge profile image


      6 years ago from Southern England

      Keep creating those hub massivedynamic!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)